It’s the Forest, Not the Trees

Author Rebecca T. Dickson stated, “Good writing is detailed.” In one of my creative writing classes, we always took ten minutes at the beginning of the period to close our eyes, sit quietly, and listen, imagining what might be happening and envisioning scenes, incorporating what we were hearing, perhaps even smelling, then putting it on […]

Rounding Up the Western Genre

“Go West Young Man,” along with “America’s Manifest Destiny,” was a motto that stirred Americans to dream of traveling to the wild west—an intriguing place away from civilization. Although knowing little to nothing about the “real west” themselves, novelists quickly fueled the flames of the public’s fascination with their stories. New Jersey born James Fenimore […]

The Art of the Love Letter, from Henry VIII to Johnny Cash

Before the advent of greeting cards and the computer, men and women professed their passion  and adoration for each other with handwritten letters. It is surmised the first love letters were written by King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn in 1527. That’s right, in his younger years Henry was a romantic softie. In his obsessive […]

Dying To Be Noticed

Sadly, many creative people aren’t recognized in their field until they are six feet under. Of course, back in Plato’s day fame wasn’t such a big deal because it didn’t exist as it does today. In fact, before the Industrial Revolution authors were said to be doing well when they were simply recognized in their […]

Sequins, Blackjack, and—Yes, Books

Las Vegas is more than showgirls, gambling, and glitz. Who would have “thunk” it? Las Vegans actually read! And now, besides having several used bookstores and more than one location of a big-named retailer, a new and unique independent bookstore, the Writer’s Block, has appeared on the scene. Drew Cohen and Scott Seeley, co-owners, opened […]

From Dante to the Marquis de Sade—Their Journals Tell All

As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name?” Call it a journal, as C. S. Lewis did, or a diary, as did Virginia Woolf, they are one and the same. Many creative people keep them, especially writers. Journals chronicle innumerable things—often explorative insights into the authors’ private lives and relationships. Sometime they […]